PHEU THAI PARTY STATEMENT : Stop Infringing on the Rights and Freedom of Those Who Have Different Opinions

Pheu Thai Party has been following the government’s reconciliation process, its sincerity in steering the country back to normalcy and the situation on the infringement of human rights, with much concern.

In particular, on charges against the “We Walk” group which
rallied at Siam Center and the nearby areas and the group of students and the
general public who came out to call for an election under the name “MBK
39” group
, , the Party would like to make the following statement:

1.  The cause of the people’s demands all stemmed from the fact that the
government and the NCPO*  were not able to solve the problems as announced
.    Their behaviors
and not keeping to their promises had created a critical loss of faith and
conflicts.  One of the reasons that the
NCPO cited when they seized power was that they would come in to create harmony
and reconciliation.  But 4 years have
passed the reconciliation among the people has not yet materialized.  The people had anticipated that the NCPO
would only step in to solve the immediate problems but it had stayed on in what
appears to be the intent to seek power. 
The NCPO’s promise says “give us time, it won’t be long..”
but it has been holding on to power for nearly 4 years which is almost the
tenure of a normal government and there is a tendency that it may stay on
  Moreover, mechanisms have
been laid down to create a succession of power
, such as, the appointment of
senators who will be able to appoint the prime minister (PM); paving the way
for a non-elected PM; not respecting
and adhering to the constitution
PM going back on his word or changed
what he had said on several occasions

Since taking office, the PM kept denying that he was a politician, and
discredits the reputation of the politicians in a systematic way
.  But finally, he retracted by conceding that
he is a politician.  The prime minister gave
his word to the Thai people and to the international communities on having an election
but does not stick to it, even though these were made through official
statements to world leaders that the election will take place in 2018. This will not be happening as  the election date will have to be pushed back
further until the election laws, which itself has been extended by another 90
days, come into effect.  The people are
still not confident whether the election will really take place in 2019. 

*NCPO = National Council for Peace and Order

The above examples would make the people lose faith in the country’s prospects and lose faith in their leader.  Uncertainties arise as to when they will be able to exercise their voting rights to determine the future of the country. This, along with the socio-economic problems that has besieged the country since the coup, has made the people become frustrated and come out to make demands on their constitutional rights.

2.  We call on the government and the NCPO to drop charges against the people as, according to the constitution, the government should protect the rights and freedom of its people.    The demands made by both groups were to create awareness of the country’s problems and to find ways to solve them – whether on the environment, on public health, on food security and on how the government is fighting corruption and on keeping its word on the election date, as promised by the government and the prime minister.

The Party
calls on the government and the NCPO to drop charges against the “We
Walk” group and against the students and others in the “MBK 39”
as the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand embodies the right and
freedom to express one’s opinions, political views and the liberty to
assemble peacefully and without arms, as stated in Sections 34 and Section 44
of the constitution.
  The Party did
not see the use of violence nor the use of arms at these gatherings; nor
actions that may cause a change of government or a change of laws or the
incitement of agitation or disobedience among the people to the point of
creating unrest.  Therefore, filing
charges against some participants with offenses under Section 116 of the
criminal code is a severe and unjust action
that will definitely have
repercussions on the society’s reconciliation process.

3.  The government and the NCPO must not
create new problems and must try and speed up the process in solving the
country’s problems
.  The Party calls
on the government and the NCPO to be true to the country’s interest and to find
a way out for the country through the following ways:

3.1 Protect
human rights
, so as to justify its reference as a national agenda, by lifting
the announcements and orders that infringe the rights and freedom of the people
such as, the NCPO chief’s order no. 3/2558. 
It should also drop charges relating to political lawsuits.

3.2 Lift the ban on  political parties to hold their activities.

3.3 Create
transparency in the political roadmap by fixing an election date
in order
to build confidence among the people, the investors and steer the country back
to normalcy.

3.4 End the
use of the tax payer’s money, the use of government officials and the use of state
mechanisms to remain in power and create a political advantage

3.6 Fight corruption seriously and openly.

3.7 Do not
make discourses
such as, ‘there will be no elections if the conflicts still
exist’, and do not use discourses that contradict or generalize that ‘having
different opinions is a conflict’
as a pretext to stay on in power, for it
is  the nature of a democratic society to
have different opinions but there are mechanisms within the democratic system to
settle any differences through peaceful means.

So, as given above, Pheu That Party calls for an end to all threats against those who have different opinions and an end to the infringement of human rights.  The government must put the stability of the country before its own.  It must put an end to the critical loss of faith of its leader.  It must put an end to the political uncertainties by creating transparency so that the Thai people can see their futures clearly.  The Party sees that the best way out for the country is to return sovereignty to the people as soon as possible.

  Pheu Thai Party
  February 7, 2018